Preventing Water Crises By Changing the Way We Build [Video]
How the Design of Buildings and Communities Can Prevent Future Water Shortages
In this video (the second in a series of three), I describe how we can change the way we build buildings and cities in order to incorporate water conservation practices and water efficient designs and why these kinds of green building practices may ultimately save lives.
I think this information is so important that I have been inspired to make what I describe part of my own personal practices and I have also been motivated by the examples from around the world that I gathered for my book, Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis.
In particular, this video focuses on what designers can do to bring contemporary water thinking into new real estate developments, especially by practicing “whole systems thinking.” In a whole systems approach, we look at total water use not just toilets, sinks and showers, for example. With this approach, we recognize that in most homes and developments, irrigation water demand can account for half of total use.
In the future, I see the emergence of a new design specialty, the “whole systems water engineer,” who will integrate rainwater harvesting, stormwater mitigation, graywater reuse, site irrigation, cooling tower water use, onsite water treatment, sewer mining and other technologies and techniques into a unified approach to achieving “zero net water use.” In this way, the whole systems water engineer will integrate the work of the architect, landscape architect, civil engineer, mechanical engineer and plumbing engineer in new buildings and major renovations, specialties that seldom communicate with each other on water issues.
Though such a specialist would practice at a high level of professional skill, it’s even more critical that we all learn how to become “water wizards” in our homes, schools, offices and cities. Take my personal water conservation audit and see what you need to do at your home or place of work to become a “water wizard” in your city. Thanks